The club have released a statement on behalf of manager Gerard Houllier, thanking the footballing world, and in particular the Villa fans, for the support shown to Frenchman during his health scare. The official statement reveals that the 63-year-old is making good progress and should be fit to leave hospital in the coming days. Club doctor Mark Waller spoke in more detail of the chest pains, similar to those Houllier suffered at Liverpool, explaining that “a dissection of the descending aorta” was the cause. Waller added:
“Gerard was admitted to hospital on Wednesday last week after complaining of chest pain. The cause of his chest pain was a dissection of the descending aorta.
“All the tests have confirmed that his heart is working perfectly. We are extremely encouraged by Gerard’s improvement over the past six days and we now anticipate that he will be discharged from the coronary care unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital within the next three to four days.”
“I am extremely touched by all the messages I have received and by the reaction of people throughout the world of football. It has been overwhelming actually.
“I’m especially grateful to the Villa fans for their genuine concern and encouragement and to the fans of clubs up and down the country. There has been a groundswell of good will and I appreciate this so much.
“I’m grateful to my players for their texts and messages and, of course, for their efforts in extending our recent unbeaten run on Saturday against Stoke and also to Gary McAllister and the rest of my staff – the team behind the team – for stepping in and taking the reins at this time.
“I’m grateful, too, to my managerial colleagues who have taken the time to get in touch with me.
“You need to know that the care I have received at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital has been first class and I am in the debt of the medical staff whose expertise and human touch has helped me through these past six days.
“My condition is improving and extremely encouraging. Dr. Mark Waller, the Club’s doctor, is better placed to explain things from a medical viewpoint, so suffice to say again that I am very moved by the fact that so many people have me in their thoughts just now.”
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